Select Board: Hingham’s Most Powerful Positions

May 18, 2021 by Ally Donnelly

Local elections matter and this one is big. With the retirement of chair Mary Power, there is one open seat on Hingham's Select Board. Three candidates are vying for what is a demanding, often thankless job. I was so curious to know why Joe Kelly, Liz Klein and Michelle Larned wanted the job and what they wanted to accomplish in their first year.

Consider the responsibilities. Last year, the Select Board met publically 80 times. Eighty. The Board calls Town Meeting, then implements what voters approve. They manage town finances and set the budget. They appoint not only the town administrator, but the chiefs of Hingham Police and Fire. They weigh the hiring and, after a required hearing, firing of every officer or firefighter. They decide who gets a liquor license and weigh how many there should be throughout town. And that’s just a slice of their full job description.

On this episode we ask the candidates how they would weigh a potential override, what projects they would prioritize, how they would have stood in the Pride and thin blue line flag controversies last year. We asked about the public safety building and developing South Hingham. We asked if they thought Hingham should officially take a stand on racism and hate in our community and how they would balance activism with the day-to-day demands of municipal government.

Their answers are revealing and thought provoking and will hopefully inform your vote for one of the most powerful positions in town.

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